Dental implants have quickly become the preferred way dentists around the world replace any number of missing teeth, and that’s because they are the only treatment that restores an entire tooth both above AND below the gum line. Today, we’re going to focus on how placing dental implants in Marshall actually works so you can better understand the process and how it can rebuild your smile.
Step 1: Initial Consultation
As with any dental treatment, the first step involves a conversation with a dentist. At an implant consultation, a patient will have the chance to discuss what their particular goals are, and then the dentist will perform an oral exam to see if they are a good candidate for the treatment.
During this, they will look at the health of their gums and jawbone to make sure they’re able to securely hold the prosthetic roots in place. A dental implant is actually a small titanium post that is placed directly into the jawbone to mimic a tooth root, and this can then be used to support a variety of restorations above the gum line.
Step 2: Preparatory Procedures
While some patients are able to have their implants placed right away, others may require a few initial procedures to ensure the success of the treatment. These could involve treating any outstanding dental problems, such as gum disease, that could make placement more difficult or unsafe. A dentist may also need to extract any remaining teeth to create room for a denture. And, if a patient’s jawbone is too thin or brittle to hold implants as is, they will perform a bone graft to strengthen it. The need for any of these procedures will be discussed at the initial consultation.
Step 3: Placement
By the time a patient comes in for implant placement, their dentist will have already created a precise treatment plan using scans of their jaw so they know exactly where to locate the new roots.
A patient’s mouth will be thoroughly numbed, and then the dentist will make a small incision in the gums where the post is going to be placed. This will expose the jawbone, and carefully, the dentist will insert the implant into it.
After everything is stabilized, the dentist will close the gums using self-dissolving stitches. Thanks to modern-day dental techniques, most patients report feeling little to know pain during this procedure, and most are able to return to work the next day.
Step 4: Healing
At this point, a patient will be given a few months for their mouth to heal, during which the implants will form a strong bond with the surrounding bone just like a natural tooth root. This is what gives implants their unmatched stability, helping a restoration stay firmly in place no matter what a patient is doing.
Step 5: Restoration
After a patient has thoroughly healed, they’ll return to their dentist to have their new teeth attached to the implants. During the healing process, they’ll be fitted with a temporary set. After the dentist makes a few final adjustments, the process is finished, and a patient’s new smile is ready for the world.
Altogether, the implant process can take anywhere from a few months to nearly a year depending on a patient’s specific situation. In any case, once they are in place, a patient can look forward to enjoying their complete smile for decades to come.
About the Author
Dr. Charles Parker is a dental implant dentist in Marshall who has nearly 40 years of experience rebuilding smiles for his beloved patients. If you’d like to know more about dental implants or schedule a FREE initial consultation, Dr. Parker can be contacted through his website.